All this week, we’re bringing you a steady stream of simian superiority!

See, when I was Dan Lad, growing up in the wild suburbs of New Jersey, there was this thing on Channel 7, the New York ABC affiliate, called “The 4:30 Movie.”

Basically, the local TV editors would slice and dice a movie down to a 90-minute block of programming, including commercials. They’d have theme weeks like Superhero Week (which was when you’d get to see the Batman ’66 theatrical release on TV, run across two days) or Monster Week or Matt Helm Week or what have you.

The highlight, hands down, was Apes Week, which ran at least once a year, maybe twice.

Five days of Apes grandiosity after school for a week. How great is that? Today you can program your own viewing, but back then you were at the mercy of some guy with a corkboard in some office somewhere.

The schedule usually went something like this, “Planet of the Apes” cut and spread over Monday and Tuesday, “Beneath” on Wednesday, “Escape” on Thursday and “Conquest” on Friday. They almost never ran “Battle,” so that was one you’d come across at odd hours. It’s why I have little love for that installment and have little recollection of most of its details.


Anyway, in the spirit of “The 4:30 Movie,” we bring you Apes Week, with our own set of guest stars:

Gabriel Hardman: The comics writer and artist who co-helmed Boom! Studios’ highly successful return to the Forbidden Zone with titles like Exile on the Planet of the Apes and Planet of the Apes: Cataclysm.

Corinna Bechko: Our very own Zira — a zoologist-turned-writer — and Hardman’s partner in all things Ape.


Rich Handley: One of the world’s foremost Apes experts, Rich Handley is the co-founder of Hasslein Books ( and the author of “Timeline of the Planet of the Apes” and “Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes.”

You’ll get histories of Apes comics, favorite moments, silliest moments, exclusive artwork, and so much more.

So strap in and make sure your hermetically sealed sleep chamber doesn’t crack mid-flight!



Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Great to see you remembered it, too! As I commented yesterday, it was the best 4:30 week for me as well.

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  2. Excellent article, Dan, and thanks for letting me a part of this event.

    By the way, BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES ***was*** shown on The 4:30 Movie–but during “Sci-Fi Week,” alongside THE OMEGA MAN, SOYLENT GREEN, EARTH II and GENESIS II. 🙂

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  3. as a kid in Ireland some time in the late 90’s early 2000’s, every Sunday afternoon T. na G.(A channel that mainly did programming in the Irish language, now called TG4) would show the apes movies, it seemed to go on longer than 5 weeks, so i assume it moved on to the TV series at the end…
    I already loved them by the time they were given this slot, but it really solidified in me that they were something worth catching…

    I’ve been reading the BOOM comics now for a few years, and so enjoying them! they are the true lead up to the movies in my opinion…

    I think the TV series could have easily based itself in the time around the comic series so as to explain all the talking humans… so when i re-watch now that’s how i think of it.. ignoring all the movie references…

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  4. I also recall ABC relegating “Battle” to the Late Show, which aired sometime after the 11:00 News. This was around the time where my brother and I got to attend a Go Ape stage show where they showed Apes trailers, had dancers dressed in Apes costumes and they handed out Apes kazoos. And then, of course, every Friday night I’d go to Danny Kelly’s apartment to watch the Planet of the Apes TV show (also known as Starsky & Hutch on the Planet of the Apes).

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    • I remember that too, Andy! It always seemed to be on superlate, and I’d try to watch it, but I’d fall asleep!

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